Brazilian Army Soldiers and Police Improve Security with Operation Curaretinga

Brazilian Army Soldiers and Police Improve Security with Operation Curaretinga

By Dialogo
December 23, 2014




From November 19-30, about 1,000 troops from the Brazilian Army’s 17th Jungle Infantry Brigade completed the most recent iteration of Operation Curaretinga, a series of security patrols along nearly 3,000 kilometers of the Brazilian-Bolivian border.

The Soldiers, along with nearly 100 police officers and civilian representatives from various government institutions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), participated in the operation through patrols established in northern Brazil to combat drug trafficking, arms smuggling, environmental crimes and other criminal schemes.

“Our Brigade is always patrolling the borders. We conduct large-scale operations, such as Curare, and smaller ones, like Curaretinga,” said Colonel Robson Monteiro Mattos, Operations Officer for the 17th Jungle Infantry Brigade.

Fighting drug trafficking


Violence associated with drug and weapons trafficking often poses a threat to those who live along the border, but the successes of Operation Curaretinga have helped locals rest easier. The searches conducted by Soldiers and police officers at security checkpoints have repeatedly led to arrests and seizures of smuggled drugs and arms.

“These searches are very important and the local population has responded well, and cooperated by providing information, because we bring a sense of security to these people. Sometimes, the Army is the only institution that reaches out to them,” said Col. Mattos.

In one instance on November 17, at a highway checkpoint in southern Amazonas, Soldiers and officers with the Amazonas State Military Police arrested a group of men who were allegedly transporting 43.5 kg of marijuana in a vehicle. A day later at the same checkpoint, troops and police seized 5 kilograms of cocaine base that someone was trying to transport inside a vehicle. The Civil Police of Porto Velho are investigating both cases.

Security officials also seized weapons at multiple checkpoints: two pistols and a shotgun on BR-364, a major roadway linking São Paulo with northern Brazil, and two more shotguns in Acre. During the latter incident, law enforcement officers transported three suspects found in possession of the weapons to the municipality of Rodrigues Alves, where judicial authorities issued arrest warrants for illegal possession of firearms.

On another instance on November 23, two men ambushed troops from the 17th Brigade as they conducted a foot patrol in the community of Boa Vista. Fortunately, no Soldiers were injured, and they managed to pursue their assailants into the bush. One suspect, a Brazilian national, was arrested on suspicion of conspiring with the attackers.

Sensors help locate deforested areas


Even as they work to protect the population from the violence of drug and weapons traffickers, participants in Operation Curaretinga also maintained vigil over the environment, fighting illegal loggers and animal traffickers.

To fight illegal logging, the Army relies on information provided by the Comprehensive Amazônia Protection System (SIPAM). Satellite images provided by SIPAM allow troops to locate and respond to regions where illegal groups are engaging in deforestation.

Near the municipality of Guajará-Mirim, for example, Soldiers and police seized 381 logs of illegally extracted timber valued at $79,749. They also arrested several suspects in connection with the seizure, and given an Order of Seizure and Destruction from the Brazilian Environmental and Renewable Natural Resources Institute (Ibama), demolished the timber.

Security mission also provided health and dental services to civilians


On top of working in favor of the environment, Operation Curaretinga also provided medical and dental services for the civilian population. Participants even helped some locals get married.

“During the weekend of December 13 and 14, together with the Rondônia Court of Justice, we brought itinerant notaries public to nearby communities, where they performed several weddings,” Col. Mattos said. “This action even involved our musicians.”

Soldiers used pre-existing structures to provide medical and dental treatment, or in their absence built field facilities on the spot. They also took the opportunity to provide health lectures, as well as talks about patriotism.



From November 19-30, about 1,000 troops from the Brazilian Army’s 17th Jungle Infantry Brigade completed the most recent iteration of Operation Curaretinga, a series of security patrols along nearly 3,000 kilometers of the Brazilian-Bolivian border.

The Soldiers, along with nearly 100 police officers and civilian representatives from various government institutions and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), participated in the operation through patrols established in northern Brazil to combat drug trafficking, arms smuggling, environmental crimes and other criminal schemes.

“Our Brigade is always patrolling the borders. We conduct large-scale operations, such as Curare, and smaller ones, like Curaretinga,” said Colonel Robson Monteiro Mattos, Operations Officer for the 17th Jungle Infantry Brigade.

Fighting drug trafficking


Violence associated with drug and weapons trafficking often poses a threat to those who live along the border, but the successes of Operation Curaretinga have helped locals rest easier. The searches conducted by Soldiers and police officers at security checkpoints have repeatedly led to arrests and seizures of smuggled drugs and arms.

“These searches are very important and the local population has responded well, and cooperated by providing information, because we bring a sense of security to these people. Sometimes, the Army is the only institution that reaches out to them,” said Col. Mattos.

In one instance on November 17, at a highway checkpoint in southern Amazonas, Soldiers and officers with the Amazonas State Military Police arrested a group of men who were allegedly transporting 43.5 kg of marijuana in a vehicle. A day later at the same checkpoint, troops and police seized 5 kilograms of cocaine base that someone was trying to transport inside a vehicle. The Civil Police of Porto Velho are investigating both cases.

Security officials also seized weapons at multiple checkpoints: two pistols and a shotgun on BR-364, a major roadway linking São Paulo with northern Brazil, and two more shotguns in Acre. During the latter incident, law enforcement officers transported three suspects found in possession of the weapons to the municipality of Rodrigues Alves, where judicial authorities issued arrest warrants for illegal possession of firearms.

On another instance on November 23, two men ambushed troops from the 17th Brigade as they conducted a foot patrol in the community of Boa Vista. Fortunately, no Soldiers were injured, and they managed to pursue their assailants into the bush. One suspect, a Brazilian national, was arrested on suspicion of conspiring with the attackers.

Sensors help locate deforested areas


Even as they work to protect the population from the violence of drug and weapons traffickers, participants in Operation Curaretinga also maintained vigil over the environment, fighting illegal loggers and animal traffickers.

To fight illegal logging, the Army relies on information provided by the Comprehensive Amazônia Protection System (SIPAM). Satellite images provided by SIPAM allow troops to locate and respond to regions where illegal groups are engaging in deforestation.

Near the municipality of Guajará-Mirim, for example, Soldiers and police seized 381 logs of illegally extracted timber valued at $79,749. They also arrested several suspects in connection with the seizure, and given an Order of Seizure and Destruction from the Brazilian Environmental and Renewable Natural Resources Institute (Ibama), demolished the timber.

Security mission also provided health and dental services to civilians


On top of working in favor of the environment, Operation Curaretinga also provided medical and dental services for the civilian population. Participants even helped some locals get married.

“During the weekend of December 13 and 14, together with the Rondônia Court of Justice, we brought itinerant notaries public to nearby communities, where they performed several weddings,” Col. Mattos said. “This action even involved our musicians.”

Soldiers used pre-existing structures to provide medical and dental treatment, or in their absence built field facilities on the spot. They also took the opportunity to provide health lectures, as well as talks about patriotism.
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